Flip Action Tripod hands-on
Flip may be in its death throes after being axed by Cisco, but we managed to get our hands on their Action Tripod, something we’ve been wanting for a while. Flip have always pushed the action angle on their Flip camcorders and the Action Tripod provides a number of fixing options.
This is more than just a straight clamp for the handlebars of your bike. It’s a multi-function tripod, which should appeal to more than just Flip users, as it will support lightweight cameras and camcorders with a standard ¼-inch tripod screw.
The Action Tripod is plastic and has two legs that will fold out from the main body to form a conventional three-legged, erm, tripod.
However, the broad body (which forms one leg of the “tri”) has a curved rubber mount of the bottom and a couple of long Velcro straps so you can easily strap it to your bike or anything else. It only takes a second to mount and seemed secure enough in our test ride. The straps are detachable too, so if you don't want them they can just be pulled off.
The Flip (or other camera) fixes to the screw at the top, which is on a ball pivot arm secured itself in a plastic hinged arm, so there is a degree of adjustment that you can get. We chose to fold the arm back on itself when bike mounted which should, theoretically, lower the centre of gravity on the camera and reduce the effects of bounce.
However, in running the bike along the only-mildly bumpy Thames Path, we encountered all the image wobble that you associate with pocket camcorders, image stabilisation or no. It didn't help that we were riding a mid-90s fixed frame Cannondale M500 (retro bikes rule).
Off the bike, the Action Tripod is sturdy enough and we tried mounting the Canon PowerShot SX220 HS on it too with no problems. It won’t support larger cameras however, we tried a Nikon D5100 DSLR and you can’t tighten the screw enough to support that sort of weight.
Yours for £19.99 from assorted online retailers, get ‘em while they’re still making ‘em.
If you want to see the results the video we captured is below, shot at 720/50p and this was travelling at approx 30kph/19mph - you might want to kill the sound.